Marketing automation – press a button and all your marketing flows are put on autopilot! Ok, that’s only half of it. Marketing automation can surely help automate your marketing processes (I mean, hence the name), but there are, like in any case, a few things to think about before you can reap the benefits.
6 Common Marketing Automation Mistakes
1. Overusing the System
I’m gonna give you an example from my inbox. For the sake of it – let’s call this company MagMania. Months ago, I decided to give my sister a subscription to a magazine. Ever since then, this company emails me on different offers – All. The. Time. Sometimes even twice a day. Does it work? Nope, I feel spammed, overwhelmed and I ignore.
Once you finally get a cool marketing automation system, you want to use it as much as possible, I get it, but when you forget about relevance and keep sending emails “just because” – you’re gonna have a hard time.
3 out of 4 subscribers opt-out of email lists if they get emailed too often. (SmartInsights) – Click to Tweet
The thing with marketing automation is that although you can streamline send outs, you still need to find that frequency sweet spot. Frequency is quite a relative term though, if you send emails daily but with relevant content, you can probably get away with it. In order words, quality over quantity. Still, there a few tips on perfect frequency.
- Hint 1. The majority of readers (86%) prefer to get promotional emails at least monthly. Only 15% of adults would want daily emails from businesses.
- Hint 2. One option is to let the subscribers determine the frequency with a preference center.
- Hint 3. You have to test. Look at unsubscriptions, open rates, click rates – this helps you determine what your readers actually want and how often. In an experiment performed by TopTable, they noticed that the subscribers who received one email per week made 14% more bookings than those that received two emails.
2. You Still Need to Think About Protection
Let’s go back to the example we had above, MagMania who keeps sending me irrelevant emails way too often. Did you happen to see where those emails actually end up? Yup, they all go straight to my junk mail.
Superb email deliverability is never a done deal, nor is it a guarantee when you add a marketing automation system to your routines. Why is that? To protect our inboxes from the 45% of all emails in the world that are considered spam, spam filters have been put in place along the emails’ journey. Your job, not the marketing automation tool’s job, is to not have your email get stuck in those filters. (Of course, there are procedures and registrations your marketing automation provider can be a part of to help you with your delivery, I’m just saying that some of the responsibility lies with you.)
First step is to make your send outs not looking like spam, so you need to do a so called “email warm-up,” where you segment your readers and schedule the send out of the same email at different times. Second step to protect yourself is to register for DKIM, SPF and DMARC, email authentication services that vouch for your email being legit, and increase your chances of reaching the inbox.
3. Stop, You’re Going Too Fast!
Marketing automation doesn’t suddenly generate leads by itself – the most significant barrier for successful marketing automation is the lack of an effective strategy. If you miss out on an important piece in your flow or lose leads because you rush them through the funnel, you’re gonna have to start all over. So, how are you gonna get subscribers to email in the first place and how will they stay on your list? Lead generation tactics are a whole other story though, but whether you decide to go for blogs, social media, video, inspiration with thought leadership etc, make sure you have a plan that suits your business. Who are you targeting, what are your goals and how will you reach them?
4. Wait, You’re Still Not Quite Done Planning
Sure, marketing automation can help you streamline activities, but it’s no silver bullet. Sure, you’ve collected some contacts with your lead generation plan, marketing automation devours on content. You don’t want to let it starve. Before you hit the start button, ensure that you have planned out flows and content ready to be sent to your readers. This also helps you determine the right frequency as we already talked about. Now you’ll have high-quality content, and you don’t have to stress with last-minute send outs, cause that’s not healthy for you, nor your marketing.
5. You’re Stuck in Old Mindsets
Do you just use your marketing automation tool as an email marketing program? Hey, that’s just throwing money down the drain cause you’re not tapping into the full potential here. Marketing automation gives you insight on what your subscribers want and need. It allows you to schedule send outs according to the behaviour of the recipient, which means that with the right flow, you catch your subscriber at the right time with the right content, increasing your chances of actually qualifying the lead. So what I’m actually saying here is don’t just press the send button, explore and add automations for full effect. Furthermore, don’t forget that the tool often has several other features for you to explore; mobile, event management, landing pages – get that cross-channel marketing going!
6. Let the Sales Team in on the Fun
Your marketing team is happy about the marketing automation system, the sales team though has no clue what’s going on. The marketing team sure can monitor the behaviour of the recipient, but what does that help when the sales people can’t take part of all this information? Well, the salespeople don’t know when the lead is qualified and have no chance to properly prepare for a sales meeting. The solution: investigate whether your marketing automation tool offers an integration with your CRM tool. This way, every action the lead takes on your marketing content, is not only listed in the marketing automation tool, but is shared automatically with the CRM. The sales team is then aware of who clicked on what and when, meaning that they are more than well prepared for their sales meeting.
Why not round off this post with one last tip for MagMania to improve their rates. Since they got my email address, my junk inbox has received 90+ emails from them (no joke). How many of them did I open? None. (Ok, one, but that was a mistake). There are two things MagMania could do here. 1. Since there is zero to none activity from me, they could try a re-engagement plan, with offers and/or subject lines that I just can’t resist to open. 2. Delete me from the email list. No activity from recipients affects the deliverability, and their open and click rates look better without the inactive subscribers. Hey, you want to communicate with people that have an interest in you, right? That’s where you can score business.
What tips do you have on what NOT to do with marketing automation? Let me know in the comments!